Photo Series: Trees of Hope

Photo Series: Trees of Hope

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This blog comes to us from Don Larson, the Founder and CEO of Sunshine Nut Company in Mozambique.

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We came to Mozambique to help the poor and orphaned. We established Sunshine Nut Company and are making the finest roasted cashews – grown, roasted, and packaged in Mozambique. Of the 90% of company proceeds that we give back to the poor and orphaned here in Mozambique, 30% is earmarked for the farming communities who grow our cashews. We’re committed to giving farmers fair pricing for their crops and improving their standard of living. Our first initiative as a new company was to purchase new cashew tree saplings and, with the help of my family and employees, plant them as gestures of love in the poor villages.

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The Mozambican government was so overwhelmed by our planting project that they agreed to give us as many trees as we desired. We helped plant 1,000 cashew trees from a local nursery for 153 families in the Nwadjahane village and 181 families in the sister village of Rigwane. This nursery was government owned and operated and was created with the purpose of introducing new cashew trees to farmers to replace older trees that are no longer yielding productive harvests. These saplings will be productive in 3 years and will produce cashews for 25 years to follow.

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The young men and women we hired at the Sunshine Nut Company, most of whom grew up in orphanages and have never left their local area, were eager to travel the 7 hours to the villages from our factory location. For them, it was an adventure to see a different part of their country. Yet it was also a different type of opportunity for them. During their childhoods in orphanages, they were in a position only to receive. They possessed nothing to call their own and lived at the mercy of those who provided them with clothing, food, and an education. But now, for the first time in their lives, they had the opportunity to give to others less fortunate than themselves.

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These young men and women went from hut to hut throughout the villages, passing out trees and helping the people dig holes and plant them. They chatted, laughed, and even sang with the families as they went about their work.

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Each family warmly received our employees and thanked them for enriching their lives as they left. Our employees’ heads were held higher and higher with each tree they planted. They provided dignity and hope for the people of the village. And as they did, they received the same.

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We returned back to the factory in Matola wanting to repeat the incredible experience. A month later, we all piled into the company vehicles and returned to two new villages – planting 1,000 more cashew trees. Sunshine Nut Company plans to continue these trips until we have reached our goal of 50,000 new cashew trees planted as gestures of hope and love to the people of Mozambique. By buying our roasted cashews, you enable this goal to become a reality. Providing hope never tasted so good.

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Read more about Sunshine Nut Company here.

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